Sean Paul Murphy, Writer

Sean Paul Murphy, Writer
Sean Paul Murphy, Writer

Sunday, November 16, 2014

"Suzanne Shepherd: A Gift of Fire" premieres

A documentary film I edited, "Suzanne Shepherd: A Gift of Fire" debuted last week in New York City.   The film is about Suzanne Shepherd, a gifted character actress who is also an influential acting teacher and theatrical director.  Suzanne is perhaps most recognizable in roles as mob mothers-in-law.  In "Goodfellas," she played Ray Liotta's Jewish mother-in-law.  On "The Sopranos," she played James Gandofini's Italian mother-in-law.

The film is a definite labor of love by writer/producer Wendy Sayvetz and features interviews with a wide variety of Suzanne devotees including Alan Alda, Danny Glover, Joan Allen, Bebe Neuwirth, the late Jill Clayburgh, director Larry Arrick and South African playwright Athol Fugard.  Wendy started filming footage in 2000.  While in Baltimore shooting the film "A Dirty Shame," Suzanne mentioned the prospective documentary to her director John Waters.  John Waters immediately recommended Steve Yeager to direct the film.  Steve had already won the audience prize at the Sundance Film Festival for his documentary about John Waters called "Divine Trash."  Steve brought me onto the project and the rest is history.

Producer Wendy Sayvetz with yours truly working on the
film in my dining room.  You'd be surprised how many
films were born or finished there!
The film was extremely well-received in New York by an audience studded with Academy Award winners.    Sadly, my lovely wife and I were unable to make the premiere since I had to spend the day locked safely away in a communications secure location in Washington, DC, working on my next film.  A pity.  It sounded like a great party and people loved the film.  I look forward to seeing the film next on the festival circuit!

Here's an extended sneak peak:

Be sure to read my book:  The Promise, or the Pros and Cons of Talking with God.

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